Handsome Cat

Cocooned in her blanket

She asks again

If I’ve seen the kitten’s photo

Framed at her bedside

Honored to have my poem Handsome Cat (opening lines above) appear in the Poetry and Prose section of BMJ Medical Humanities

On mobile devices the line formatting may be incorrect, it is presented as intended in the free PDF version.

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The Human Touch

Western recently put out a collection of poetry, writing, photography, and visual art from its medical students. Great to see the work of peers and those in the years above and below me.  The collection includes two of my works. Learning From Experience was previously posted elsewhere, a piece of visual art about the sacrifices of patients for our learning.  The other piece, Solo, is about my first time skydiving.

Being There

“After breakfast, we all get dressed, I pack my daughter’s lunch, and the three of us suit up for the trek to the bus stop. March 2 marks one year since CaRMS Match Day, and rather than being on call or spending time in clinic, I’m on paternity leave.”

A reflection on the year since Match Day, priorities, and the decision to take pat leave.  LINK

Part of the in-House s/p The Match series of reflections looking back on the year since Match Day.

*** Reposted as ‘This physician delayed residency to take paternity leave’ on KevinMD

Contentment

“Come Match Day there will be many cheers and tears of joy, there will also be private anger and disappointment. This is a stressful time in the lives of medical trainees. Should so much joy and sorrow hang on the pursuit of a specialty?”

A reflection on specialty choice, our privilege to study medicine, and fulfillment drawing on The Way of Chuang Tzu. On The Muse Magazine’s blog:  LINK

The Examined Life Conference – 2016

In early October I attended my first conference as a resident.  While most of my peers are planning on attending FMF or other Family Medicine related conferences in the future I chose to use my funding to attend The Examined Life Conference at the University of Iowa from October 6-8.  The program was impressive (link) and it was a great experience.  I was also impressed with how well run the conference was, staying on schedule and not a single AV issue in the talks I attended.

I enjoyed hearing about the work others are doing in combining the arts and medicine.  I attended workshops, lectures on educational efforts, readings and more.  Many of the presentations led to insightful discussions that continued into coffee breaks.  It was a great place to connect with other interested in the humanities and discuss ideas.  I won’t review the whole conference, just a few highlights.

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  1. Phil Dwyer – Artful Grief

The first lecture I attended was by Phil.  He spoke of his recently published book Conversations On Dying and blog that collected reflections about the death of loved ones.  His book recounts the death of his brother along with a series of interviews with Dr. Larry Labrach (a palliative care physician in Toronto), contrasting their end of life experiences.  It was a moving presentation and also presented some data collected about writing about loss.  I also sat with him on the flight back to Canada, and we had a good conversation.

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2.  Ken Browne – Why Doctors Write

Ken presented a 20 minute cut of his unfinished documentary Why Doctors Write at the conference.  It was very well received.  It was divided into chapters including one of Dr. Danielle Ofri and her patient Jaun, arts in medical education, Internist and poet Dr. Rafael Campo, etc.  A strong message and nicely shot. Ken was approachable and we had a great talk about medicine and the arts.  I look forward to the film.

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3.  Connecting

A lot of great conversations at the conference.  At some of the workshops we shared work in small groups and it was wonderful to see what people came up with in 7 minutes following a prompt.  I had a great chat and dinner with a PA and rural Family Doc from the conference and have enjoyed email correspondence with a number of attendees since the conference.  The host also put together an app for the conference that made it easy to post to social media, share updates and connect.

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Being that this is Aboot Medicine, two of the attendees had air casts on…  talk a boot medicine (thanks Rita and Marjorie)

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I hope to attend again in the future

On Family Medicine

The #justaFP project from the U of Manitoba Family Medicine Interest Group profiles family practitioners. It is an effort to combat negatives attitudes towards the specialty and choosing to be “just” a family doctor.  I was recently profiled and spoke of my journey through medical school along with my choosing Family Medicine and reactions to that choice.  Check it and other profiles out: “just” a family physician